By Rob Markman
Who’s hotter than 2 Chainz? For the past two years hip-hop’s current go-to-guy has been building his buzz from the ground up. Now, the Atlanta MC is ready to turn his masterful mixtape swag and apply it to his major label debut.
Through powerful mixtape material and memorable guest features alongside Kanye West ("Mercy"), Nicki Minaj ("Beez in the Trap") and even Justin Bieber ("Girlfriend" remix), Deuce is without a doubt the most anticipated newcomer in rap — even if he's been here before.
So far, Based on A T.R.U. Story has been shrouded in mystery — besides the two singles 2 Chainz has already released ("No Lie" with Drake and "Birthday Song" featuring Kanye West), not much is known about the LP, set to drop August 14. In a candid interview, 2 Chainz breaks it all down for MTV's Hip-Hop Music Preview. The wait is almost over.
The Title: Based on a T.R.U. Story
"T.R.U. is an acronym for The Real University. It was something that I felt like hip-hop was missing for a while. ... I been working on this album my whole life because it's my debut album as 2 Chainz. I kinda wanted it to be like 'to be continued' or 'part 2' of where I left off with my mixtape [T.R.U. REALigion], which I thought was a great piece of work."
The Album Cover
"That actual cover was me, Kanye, Donda, the whole team over there at G.O.O.D. Music, we had a meeting for like two hours. It was just symbolism."
The Cinematic Influence
"Based on a T.R.U. Story can be the soundtrack for maybe what LeBron [James] went through. Being in a situation, thinking you're gonna be in a situation, striving in that situation, struggling in that situation, having faith like, 'Let me try this again, but just do it a different way' ... and then getting good results. I feel like it's a soundtrack for a championship team, a soundtrack for somebody that's winning or goin' through ups and downs."
"Ghetto Dream": "It's reality music; it's reality rap, just to give you a heads-up. It just talks about the things you do on those sleepless nights to try to make yourself tired to actually go to sleep. It's conceptual in a couple of ways. To me, I'm the epitome of what a ghetto child is: I was raised by a single parent; I stayed in apartments my whole life; I don't think I've ever cut the grass. I definitely touch on childhood experiences on there because it made me the man I am today."
The Five-Word Description
"Entertaining, classic, gritty, eargasm, conceptual. ... This is my first album as 2 Chainz. I think I'm gonna be around. I don't think it's just gonna be a one and out thing with me, so this has to be a classic for me."
Check in with MTV News all this week for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, when rap's biggest names give you an in-depth look at some of the year's most anticipated albums. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MTVHipHopPreview!